“Bhishma continued, ’That intelligent Brahmana who was well-conversant with the duties of the world, thus questioned by Prahlada, answered him in sweet words of grave import. Behold, O Prahlada, the origin of creatures, their growth, decay, and death, are traceable to no (intelligible) cause. It is for this that I do not indulge in either joy or sorrow. All the propensities (for action) that exist in the universe may be seen to flow from the very natures of the creatures (to which they inhere). All things (in the universe) are depended on their respective natures. Hence, I am not delighted with anything. Behold, O Prahlada, all kinds of union have an aptitude for disunion. All acquisitions are certain to end in destruction. Hence I never set my heart upon the acquisition of any object. All things possessed of attributes are certain to meet with destruction. What remains there for a person then to do who (like me) is conversant with both the origin and the end of things? Of all things, large or small, born in the ocean of waters, the end is noticeable. I see also the death, which is manifest, O chief of Asuras, of all things, mobile and immobile, belonging to the land. O best of Danavas, death comes in season unto even the strongest of winged creatures which range the sky. I see again that the luminous bodies, large and small, which move in the firmament, fall down when their time comes. Beholding all created things Possessed of knowledge, to be thus liable to be affected by death, and thinking all things to be possessed of the same nature, I sleep in peace without any anxiety of heart. If I get without trouble a copious repast, I do not scruple to enjoy it. On the other hand, I pass many days, together without eating anything. Sometimes people feed me with costly viands in profusion, sometimes with a small quantity, sometimes with even less, and sometimes I get no food whatever. I sometimes eat only a portion of a grain; sometimes the dry sesame cakes from which the oil has been pressed out, I sometimes eat rice and other food of the richest kind. Sometimes I sleep on an elevated bedstead of the best kind. Sometimes I sleep on the bare ground. Sometimes my bed is made within a fine palace or mansion. I am sometimes clad in rags, sometimes in sackcloth, sometimes in raiments of fine texture, sometimes in deer-skins, sometimes in robes of the costliest kind.